This Week in Cruise: New Ships Debut, MSC Shifts Three Ships and More

New ships, both big and small, are in the news this week. In Iceland on Saturday, popstar Katy Perry christened Norwegian Cruise Line's new Norwegian Prima. Also participating in the event were Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the cruise line's parent company, Harry Sommer, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Elvis Duran, radio host of "Elvis Duran and The Morning Show." It will sail from Europe and New York City before homeporting in Port Canaveral, FL and Galveston, TX for 2023 and 2024.

In addition, American Cruise Lines' new 175-passenger American Symphony, a modern-series riverboat, debuted on the Mississippi River for its inaugural voyage on Saturday. The ship's christening is slated for Tuesday in Natchez, MS

Viking had planned a debut this past week of its new 386-passenger Viking Mississippi river vessel. But the Viking website says: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, construction of the Viking Mississippi has been delayed. Therefore, select early departures of Viking Mississippi’s first season have been canceled. Guests on affected sailings and their travel advisors have been notified by Viking Customer Relations."

Another new ship, MSC Seascape completed sea trials and will set sail with guests aboard later this year. Separately, MSC Cruises updated its winter 2022-2023 deployment. MSC Virtuosa will replace MSC Preziosa in northern Europe, MSC Bellissima will replace MSC Virtuosa on Mediterranean sailings, and MSC Preziosa will reposition to Santos, Brazil for mini-sailings and seven-night voyages to Uruguay and Argentina, plus Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for holiday/Carnival sailings. 

Expanding into the U.S. market, Viva Cruises unveiled its 2023 itineraries and launched a new ship.

More Cruise News

Oceania Cruises' new Vista, debuting in 2023, will introduce new specialty dining venues, new recipes, new wines, new cocktails and nonalcoholic choices

Virgin Voyages expanded its North American sales team with several appointments.

COVID-19 requirements continue to evolve, both from cruise lines and destinations. Carnival Cruise Line updated its pre-cruise testing protocols, while Celebrity Cruises also announced new protocols.

On the destination side, Bermuda streamlined its travel protocols, while Japan will ease its entry requirements, effective September 7.

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